Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are separate dwellings, attached or detached, which coexist on a lot with a single family home. ADUs are part of a relatively new state initiative to increase density and provide desperately needed housing. By definition, ADUs have a separate entrance, a full kitchen and a full bathroom and are limited in square footage based on a few simple code regulations. An ADU can be used as a rental but cannot be sold separately from the primary single family residence. There are frequently exceptions to parking restrictions for ADUs that often result in limited or no additional parking spaces required.


ADUs can provide rental income to a homeowner. ADUs can create communal living for multigenerational or non-traditional family structures. ADUs can allow a family to downsize by relocating to their ADU and renting out their main home.


Vertebra­e excels in design and innovation for compact living. Founded in 2012, Vertebrae has gained an acute understanding of how to successfully integrate all needed living program and functionality into footprints smaller than 500 square feet with projects such as the award-winning Venice Micro-Apartment, Clerestory Loft, and the Breakers Studio. Vertebrae’s designs consistently achieve universal design principles for small space livingincluding creative use of every cubic foot, high storage-to-living-space ratios and visual and acoustic separation. Using these principles as a baseline, Vertebrae artistically employs material palettes and small but critical design details to further distinguish its micro-spaces. Vertebrae is convinced that smaller spatial housing footprints directly equate to decreased carbon emissions and reduced waste associated with the acquisition of consumables. The practice focuses on these types of spaces because it fundamentally believes they are beneficial to our planet. Vertebrae’s small space designs have appeared in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and LA Times.